HolliePollock is a Salem legend. Fairview was an asylum for the mentally handicapped, which operated from 1908 to 2000. Hollie Pollock was a young boy committed to Fairview who went missing in 1923. After attempts to locate him failed, pieces of his hair and skin started to come up through the institution’s pipes. It turns out, he was dead and his body was down at the well. The grounds are supposed to be haunted by Hollie Pollock’s spirit and many Salem kids have tried to go find out if it’s true.
The four-piece Salem band was named after him.
“When we were in High School we used to go there. The name has a ring to it and Salem folklore represents who we are. It reminds us of having fun as kids and it’s creepy,” says Ben Bond, HolliePollock’s lead guitarist.
The other members of the band are Justin Miller (vocals), Rob Harris (drums) and Stefin Putnam (bass). The four played all throughout high hchool, in the alternative rock and roll band called Sister Ray, and now in HolliePollock since 2008. Sister Ray won $1,000 dollars in a battle of the bands in Portland in 2005, and HolliePollock won the Ranch Records Battle of the Bands in 2009.
HolliePollock features retro alternative rock and roll, mixing influences from the 60s and 70s such as The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Jefferson Airplane and Velvet Underground, with 90s grunge bands such as Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Nirvana. In Bond’s words, “San Francisco by way of Seattle would be a great way to describe us.” He says they’re often compared to Neil Young and Crazy Horse as well. Bond further explained their take on post-grunge: “We are taking a perspective and looking back at those old artists, who were doing it right, and not trying to change what they did but put our own spin on it.”
HolliePollock’s sound is fast-paced and heavy on bass and guitars. They’re definitely passionate and they put on a very energetic show. “Even if we’re not moving the sound moves. If you look deeper into it, there’s lots of metaphor, and dynamic is a very big part of what we’re trying to do,” says Bond.
HolliePollock’s songs tend to evolve and switch genres, and the instruments, vocals and stage act follow the lyrics, setting the mood of the song. “We try hard to get people intrigued. ‘Headed for the Hills’ starts out with a soft pop sound and becomes increasingly darker and eerie. ‘I think I’m losing’ has wild, crazy guitar solos that go in between the lyrics and mirror the madness and frustration that the song is about,” says Bond.
HolliePollock released their first CD “Electric Water” under the Luckydog label. It’s available at their shows, at Ranch Records and on iTunes. They finished recording their second album at Bomb Shelter studios and now they’re just waiting for the mixing and mastering. “This new CD is really strong. It’s a lot more focused, it shows our maturity as a band,” says Bond.
The band just got back from their first tour, in California. “We wanted it to be a real experience. We didn’t sleep at a hotel or eat any fast food. We camped the whole way and cooked our own food. We wanted to do it very hardcore. We wanted to do it on our own terms and experience living off of music alone. It was a really fun and interesting time,” says Bond.
HolliePollock will be playing two shows in December at Riverfront Bar and Grill, on the 16th and on the 23rd.
Check out HolliePollock at myspace.com/holliepollock